Our governance

Constitution and principal activity

The Science Council was established under Royal Charter in October 2003. An amended Charter received Privy Council seal on 10th December 2008. The Science Council was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in September 2009 (Charity number: 1131661).

The Science Council’s purpose, as defined in its Royal Charter, is to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of and education in science, pure and applied, for public benefit. To achieve the organisation’s purpose as set out in its Royal Charter and deliver its public benefit objective, the Board of Trustees agreed a new strategy in January 2016.

Structure and governance

The Science Council is a membership organisation governed by a Board of Trustees answerable to the Full Council of Member Organisations. The Board of Trustees is chaired by a trustee elected by members of the Board. The President is directly elected by the Members. The Board consists of a maximum of 12 elected trustees and three Appointed trustees. The Board can also co-opt members to fill up to two elected trustee vacancies that may arise between General Meetings. There are currently six elected trustees, three Appointed and one Co-opted trustees. At present there are six vacancies on the Board.

There are three Board Committees: Governance, Audit and Risk and the Registration Authority. The current Chair of the Registration Authority and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee are independent. They attend Board but are not trustees. The Chair of the Governance Committee is a trustee.

The Full Council elects the President and the elected Trustees. The Board selects and appoints Appointed and Co-opted trustees. Council meetings currently take place a minimum of twice a year and one of these meetings is the Annual General Meeting.